Mon330 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 80 posts, RR: 0 Posted (6 years 10 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4606 times:
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Departing: Leeds Bradford (LBA) 11.00AM
Arriving: London Heathrow (LHR) 12.15PM
Fare Type: Economy (X)
For the first time, I checked in online for today’s bmi flight in the comfort of my own home. I printed my own boarding card and selected my seat. This meant when I got to the airport my duties were fewer: simply proceed straight to the baggage drop-off point to hand over my checked luggage.
Next, I passed through security (where they scanned the boarding card I had printed) and went straight for a coffee and a read of The Times. In the news today was the story on the Devon beachcombers who had been scavenging the washed up payload of stricken ship MSC Napoli.
The boarding process was swift. Once onboard I settled in my comfortable leather seat and surveyed activity out on the apron. The plane seemed new and the wings were spotless. Baggage was still being loaded below, though there were only twenty of us or so flying down to Heathrow today so it didn’t take long. It was a beautiful winter’s morning: blue skies, moderate visibility, and a surface temperature of 1C. I had three seats to myself so I could spread out. This would make up for all those crammed August charter flights I have subjected myself to over the years.
We left the gate on time and departed from runway 32 behind a Jet2 Boeing 737. The takeoff was smooth and composed; no screaming jet engines here. As we flew down England parts of the country were covered in snow, while others were green. A drinks and snacks service (for purchase) followed; the staff were efficient and attentive.
Thirty minutes after takeoff we were nearing Heathrow. Due to the large amount of traffic needing to land, we were placed in a hold – in which we orbited for a good twenty or so minutes. A United Airlines 777 was spitting distance from me at one point. We eventually made a smooth touchdown on runway 09L. Seconds after we had exited, a British Airways 747 direct from Los Angeles landed; the aforementioned United 777 (from Chicago) landed immediately before us. Great skill must be applied by the controllers to draw each aircraft out of the hold with such well-timed precision.
Once I had collected my baggage, I used the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground to get straight into Central London. During the boring train journey I checked live Heathrow flight arrivals on my BlackBerry to determine the origins of the two U.S. flights that landed before and after me.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Departing: London Heathrow (LHR) 8.40PM
Arriving: Leeds Bradford (LBA) 9.45PM
Fare Type: Economy (X)
For this evening’s flight home, I checked in at the airport, using bmi’s self check-in machines. Just like online check-in, this method is straightforward also. I simply swiped my credit card (which was my reference number), answered the security questions, chose my seat and out printed a boarding card.
Tonight’s flight could not have had even forty passengers on it. Which is good from a passenger point of view, but surely not from a business point of view. My carbon footprint was not good this week! Our APU (or the “little engine at the back”, as our pilot called it) was not working, so one engine was started while on stand via ground power, and the second started once we had pushed back.
We made our way briskly to runway 09R, where there was a line of a dozen or so patiently waiting aircraft (mostly heavies). Thankfully, we jumped the queue (even though we were operating to schedule) and departed behind a Jet Airways A330, which I think is the most prosaic of names for an airline. A swift left turn steered us clear of downtown.
Twenty minutes into our flight and we were already descending from our short-lived cruising altitude of 20,000ft. It was a clear, calm winter’s night so we could make a direct approach to runway 32. A smooth landing (which is quite an achievement given Leeds Bradford’s undulating runway) was made and we taxied to our gate.
I would highly recommend bmi for both its short-haul and long-haul services. The Leeds/Heathrow shuttle worked perfectly for me: it was prompt, efficient and quick – a good way to do business. The A319s look smart with their leather interiors and clean, airy atmosphere. The airline’s services to the United States are the best I have used; the customer service on these flights goes that extra mile.
BrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3896 posts, RR: 9 Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4233 times:
Quoting Mon330 (Thread starter): I would highly recommend bmi for both its short-haul and long-haul services. The Leeds/Heathrow shuttle worked perfectly for me: it was prompt, efficient and quick – a good way to do business. The A319s look smart with their leather interiors and clean, airy atmosphere.
The interiors on the A319s are beautiful, very, very, very, comfortable seats. You did not say what row you were in, but if you were forward of Row 10, teh exit row, you may have noticed that there is a lot of legroom. Somewhere around 35" of pitch, I guess. Im still not sure about the deep red carpet and light blue seats, but other than that the interiors are beautiful.
I also fly this route quite often, and the service is great. On my last flight the APU was also inop on the 319. Actually lookng at my diary it was on the following day I flew LBA-LHR! you must have been on G-DBCJ.
Quoting Sam1987 (Reply 3): Are all BD flights between LHR and LBA this empty? How do they make money?
In my experience the loads are very light on the BD419(LBA-LHR) I had assumed that the flight in the opposite direction might be fuller, but perhaps not.
For whoever it is who wants some pics, Ill do a TR, some time in mid--March-ish!
Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8353 posts, RR: 55 Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4186 times:
Good report thanks.
I recently flew BD for the first time in some 7+ years. The route was LHR>ABZ and back, I only flew them to get the EMB-145 on my 'flown' list.
The same week I also flew BA on the same route, both flights were booked on the same day, BA were some £10 cheaper & I felt the service was better than BMI offered,which was very little.
As a foot note, the self service BMI check-in machine would not allow me to change the return flights seat allocation, so I asked a BMI staff member before leaving LHR, he claimed I would have to do it in Aberdeen as he could notchange it there, what utter rubbish!! - not impressive at all.
Mon330 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 80 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3792 times:
Many thanks for your kind comments.
I imagine the Leeds/Heathrow shuttle is often a pretty empty flight. One reason is probably that bmi offers five scheduled flights each and every weekday. This is obviously better for the customer; the airline will presumably make enough money on busier routes to compensate.
BrianDromey, it was indeed G-DBCJ that I flew back on with the faulty APU. I wonder if they've fixed it yet?!